Dragons, snakes, poisonous frogs and the insistent chirruping of crickets through the dense foliage: Welcome to the jungle.
Brent Lodge Animal Centre in Hanwell, often called the Bunny Park, has reopened its reptile house with a jungle walkthrough theme. The reptile house links with the existing butterfly house, allowing visitors to experience all of these creatures in one go – for just £2. It is open 11am-4pm until the weekend of 5-6 September.
The mini jungle’s residents include:
- Pashto, the leopard gecko
- Tango, the inland bearded dragon
- A Biak green tree python
- A pair of red tail racer constrictor snakes
- Monkey lizards
- Yellow banded poison dart frogs.
They will soon be joined by eight Sulcata tortoises currently being looked after by the park’s team in quarantine until they are ready to be relocated for public viewing.
Design for (wild)life
Visitors to the new reptile house will not fail to notice the bright new signage among the exotic exhibits on display.
These colourful boards and panels have been created by council partner Accession Social Enterprise’s design and print studio in West Ealing. Offering work experience to people with mental health or learning difficulties looking for routes back into study or employment, the design studio operates as a business that reinvests its profits back into the work scheme.
The approach between staff and trainees is a collaborative one. Every job that comes in is given a wide range of creative input as both novices and professionals pool ideas. This means that work designed by those gaining experience is also submitted to the client and can even make the final selection. The reptile house signage at Brent Lodge Park is a good example of this because the lizard, snake and frog designs were created by Tim who has been attending a weekly work experience session at the studio. Last year another Accession rookie, Beza, did some design work for the meerkat and porcupine enclosure at the animal centre.